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HIV cases remain high in Cebu

CEBU CITY – Cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) remain high in Cebu, according to the latest data gathered by the Department of Health-Central Visayas (DoH 7).

In the month of September alone this year, 91 cases of HIV were recorded in Region 7 with 67 coming from Cebu, 13 from Bohol, 10 from Negros Oriental and one from Siquijor.

Since 1984, a total of 5,356 HIV cases have been recorded in Central Visayas.

The DoH 7 said that from January to September this year, the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Central Visayas reached 747.

One positive note for Region 7 is that it dropped to fourth place this year from third last year among the regions with the most number of HIV/AIDS cases.

Despite the drop in ranking, Francis Irvin Baring, coordinator of D0H 7’s HIV/AIDS, warned that there is no room for complacency as the risk of HIV transmission remains high.

Baring cited risky behavior and the sprouting night clubs and bar joints contributed to the steady rise of HIV cases in Cebu.

Baring added that still on top of the list are cases of patients who contracted the disease after engaging in male-to-male sexual contact.

From January to September this year, 356 patients were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS after engaging in male-to-male sexual intercourse.

Of the 356 cases, 50 were tallied in September, Baring said.

The DoH 7 are also focusing on cases where patients acquired the infection after injecting drugs or those who are using Nubain.

Baring said the DoH 7 is coordinating with the police to identify those who are peddling Nubain.

Baring said to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS infection, the DoH 7 is stepping up its peer education program and the campaign against the use of injectable drugs. (Calvin Cordova)

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